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OPEC exit frees Qatar from U.S. legal concerns

Even before taking over Qatar’s energy policy in a government reshuffle last month, Qatar Petroleum (QP) CEO Saad al-Kaabi had long wanted the Gulf state to leave OPEC. Kaabi was concerned OPEC membership could be a stumbling block for QP’s ambitions in the United States, where it has one of the world’s biggest LNG terminals, and a distraction as Doha doubles down on gas production, three industry sources said. Proposed U.S. legislation known as NOPEC (No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act) could expose members of the oil exporters club ...

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Oil falls on China economic data, output cuts support

Oil prices slipped on Friday after China reported slower economic growth, pointing to lower fuel demand in the world’s biggest oil importer, although market sentiment was supported by supply cuts agreed last week by major crude producers. Benchmark Brent crude was down 40 cents at $61.05 per barrel by 0820 GMT, on course for a decline this week of around 1 percent. U.S. light crude was 25 cents lower at $52.33. China, the world’s No.2 economy, on Friday reported some of its slowest growth in retail sales and industrial output ...

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IEA Says Too Early to Tell If OPEC+ Oil-Supply Cuts Will Succeed

The International Energy Agency said it’s too early to tell whether oil-supply cuts announced by OPEC and its allies last week will succeed in balancing global markets. Even if the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its partners reduce production as promised, there could be some surplus in 2019, according to a monthly report from the agency. The IEA slashed its forecast for new supplies outside OPEC next year because of a lower outlook for Russia — which is cooperating with OPEC — and Canada, which is separately suppressing output ...

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Defying Trump, Saudi Arabia chooses ‘Saudi first’ oil policy at OPEC meeting

President Donald Trump has told foreign leaders that “America First” means he will always put the needs of America ahead of the needs of other nations — and that they should do the same for their own country. Saudi Arabia’s leadership appears to be on board with that message. Last week, Saudi Arabia disregarded Trump’s public pressure campaign to keep pumping at full throttle and cut fuel costs. The kingdom instead persuaded two dozen oil producers to cut output and announced a steep drop in Saudi production over the next ...

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IEA sees tentative signs of return to oil market balance

The International Energy Agency raised its estimates of the “call” on OPEC, or demand for OPEC crude, in the first and second quarters of 2019 by 700,000 b/d and 500,000 b/d respectively, suggesting over-supply could taper off following this month’s producer meeting in Vienna and the oil market move “towards” balance. In its monthly oil market report, the IEA cuts its estimate of non-OPEC production growth next year by 415,000 b/d to 1.5 million b/d, largely on the back of Russia’s expected contribution to cuts agreed with OPEC last week. ...

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IEA Oil Market Report: A floor under prices?

OPEC and some non-OPEC oil ministers met in Vienna last week and agreed to curb their output by 1.2 mb/d in order to address growing surpluses in the market. The agreement aims to achieve relative stability and to bring the market towards balance. So far, the Brent crude oil price seems to have found a floor, remaining close to $60/bbl much where it was when the ministers met. Recently, prices have been volatile; in early October Brent crude oil prices reached $86/bbl on concerns that the market could tighten as ...

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OPEC needs to cut output by 700,000 bpd more for Brent to hit $70 – Rystad

Oil producer cartel OPEC and its partners will need to keep production lower than their agreed target through 2019 for benchmark Brent crude to come back to $70 a barrel, oil and gas consultancy Rystad Energy said. Last week, the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its Russia-led allies agreed to slash oil production by a bigger-than-expected 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd). The producer group needs to stay 700,000 bpd below its agreed target of 31.8 million bpd through 2019 in order to bring a recovery in benchmark ...

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US dominance in oil markets is only going to get bigger, the IEA says

The U.S. might have been left out from the big summit between OPEC and non-OPEC producers in Vienna last week but the country’s influence over global oil markets is only going to get stronger, the International Energy Agency (IEA) stated in its latest report. “While the U.S. was not present in Vienna, nobody could ignore its growing influence,” the IEA said in its December report, published Thursday. “Last week’s meeting reminded us that the Big Three of oil – Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United States – whose total liquids ...

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Asia fuel oil cracks slip back into negative territory on easing supply concerns

The front-month January Singapore 380 CST HSFO swap crack against Dubai swaps slipped back into negative territory post touching record highs late last month amid easing signs of supply tightness in the market. The sharp correction in fuel oil cracks is bearish for medium-heavy sour Middle Eastern grades that have benefited from the strength in residual margins in recent weeks. The January 380 CST Singapore HSFO crack against Dubai swap on Wednesday stood at minus 53 cents/b as of 4:30 pm Singapore time (0830 GMT), according to data from S&P ...

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Shale growth may force OPEC into another production cut in April, Citi says

OPEC may not have gone far enough to hoist oil prices through 2019 — and a weak demand outlook could prompt the need for another production cut by the cartel and its allies by spring next year, Citi’s top commodities analyst said. “I think they went far enough for the time being,” Ed Morse, Citi’s global head of commodities research, told CNBC, describing last weekend’s OPEC and non-OPEC agreement led by Saudi Arabia and Russia to cut crude output by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) by January. “They’re going ...

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INSIGHT-Vitol, rival oil traders in spotlight of Brazil bribery probe

Brazil’s epic “Car Wash” corruption investigation has taken down presidents and elite businessmen, and led to the largest corporate leniency deal ever signed. But graft allegations lodged by prosecutors last week against four of the world’s largest oil trading companies – Vitol SA, Trafigura, Glencore PLC and Mercuria Energy Group – have opened an explosive new phase in the long-running probe. Federal prosecutors allege the European multinationals and some smaller players collectively paid at least $31 million in bribes over a six-year period to employees at Brazil’s state-led oil company ...

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Chevron loses second major production asset in South East Asia

Following today’s announcement by Thailand’s Department of Mineral Fuels (DMF) that PTTEP has won the auction round for both G1/61 (Erawan) and G2/61 (Bongkot) PSCs after putting an aggressive bid on the gas price and the profit share, Wood Mackenzie’s research analyst Jean-Baptiste Berchoteau shares the following commentary: “This confirms PTTEP’s strategy to secure domestic gas supply and increase its reserves in the country. The low gas price constant value offered by PTTEP (3.55 US$/mmbtu) truly reflects the national oil company’s (NOC) ambition to beat the competition and satisfy DMF’s ...

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Total Strengthens Its Exploration Position In Mauritania

Total (Paris:FP) (LSE:TTA) (NYSE:TOT) and the Ministry of Petroleum, Energy and Mines of Mauritania have signed an agreement awarding Total two new exploration and production contracts for Blocks C15 and C31 deep offshore Mauritania, covering an area of 14,175 square kilometers. According to the terms of the contracts, Total will be the operator of these two blocks with a 90% interest alongside the Société Mauritanienne des Hydrocarbures et de Patrimoine Minier (SMHPM) holding the remaining 10%. Combined with its participation interest and operatorship in Blocks C7, C9 and C18, the ...

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Marathon Oil Reports Successful Bakken Core Extension Test in Ajax Area

Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE: MRO) yesterday announced encouraging early production results at an important four-well Middle Bakken pad in the Company’s Ajax area of the Williston Basin in Dunn County, North Dakota. The four-well pad achieved an estimated average 30-day initial production (IP) rate of over 2,400 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed) (84% oil). “Strong early results in Ajax mark another important step forward in our ongoing efforts to extend the core of our Bakken acreage position, building upon recent successful core extension tests in Elk Creek and ...

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Gulf states told to brace for long-term low oil price

Gulf states which depend heavily on energy exports for most of their revenues should brace for a long period of low oil prices and subdued economic growth, experts warned. Signs of an “economic war” between the United States and China, the world’s largest economies, and an expected global economic slowdown starting next year will dampen demand for oil, the experts told a conference in Dubai. “Oil prices will remain low for a long period,” former Lebanese minister of economy and trade Nasser Saidi told the one-day Arab Strategy Forum. A ...

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